My Pentagon

It was the military
        coming together

on paper under glass

to shine on me! they
        called me

        damp thing it was
my name coming

together under orders

nothing would go
        unlaminated

they said
        they said

under orders     after death
all things must shine

More by Heather Christle

If You Go into the Woods You Will Find It Has a Technology

This tree has a small LED display 
It is glowing and it can show you words 
and it can show you pictures and it can melt 
from one choice to another and you are looking at it 
and it wants you to share the message 
but it can't see that you are the only one around 
and that everyone else is hibernating 
which you love You are so happy and alone 
with the red and yellow lights It's a nice day 
to be in nature and to read up on the very bland ideas 
this tree has about how to live This tree says 
grow stronger and this tree says fireworks effect 
This tree is the saddest prophet in history 
but you don't tell it that You are trying to show it respect 
which gets tiresome but then it flashes 
a snake at you It's a kind of LED tree hybrid joke 
and you could just kiss it for trying For failing
But it can't see you and it starts to cry

Such and Such a Time at Such and Such a Palace

The lack of a single-word infinitive
in our language is what is killing me

this morning
                           A single word for all
infinitives is what God is doing tonight

This is just one of many acts
to have passed through the garden

Previously on this show they put
a peacock back together wrong

after its demise
                                Something
there was in the syntax

Poor bird could feel it in his bones
 

Mistake

For years I have seen
dead animals on the highway
 
and grieved for them
only to realize they are
 
not dead animals
they are t shirts
 
or bits of blown tire
and I have found
 
myself with this
excess of grief
 
I have made with
no object to let
 
it spill over and
I have not known
 
where to put it or
keep it and then today
 
I thought I know
I can give it to you
 

Related Poems

On the Day of Nixon's Funeral

It's time to put the aside the old resentments; lies,
machinations, the paranoia, bugs in telephones,
the body bags, secret bombings, his sweaty upper lip,
my cousin Arnie, too dumb to go to school,

too virtuous to confess he'd give blow jobs
for nothing at the Paramount, so he lost a leg
in Da Nang. Now it's time for amnesiacs to play
Beethoven's Eroica by Nixon's casket.

To applaud his loyalty, to grant a few mistakes,
to honor his diplomacy, him and his pal Kissinger
who bombed the lush green paddies of Cambodia.
And now for a few lyric moments as I wait patiently

for my fiftieth birthday. Wood ducks decorate the pond
near this farmhouse, and in the marsh I've spied
a meadow lark, a fox, a white-tailed hawk who soars
above the Western Mountain peaks. Oh, I'm in love

with the country all right. So I can forget my friend
Sweeney, who shot Congressman Lowenstein
because the radio in his tooth insisted on it.
I remember the march on the Pentagon in purple,

a proud member of the Vegetarian Brigade. I was drugged,
as many of us were drugged, as my parents
were drugged by a few major networks, by a ranch house
and an Oldsmobile. I once spit on Hubert Humphrey,

threw a brick through Dow Chemical's plate-glass door.
I wrote insane letters to Senators, burying them
in moral rectitude: I got a response from one:
Senator Kennedy — the dead one — whose office wrongly

argued for slow withdrawal instead of Instant Victory.
I remember Tricky Dick in Nineteen Fifty-three:
I'm eight years-old, frightened and ignorant,
lying down before my parents' first TV: my aunts

and uncles sitting in a circle, biting their nails,
whispering names of relatives awaiting trial, who,
thanks to Nixon, lost their sorry jobs. You can see why
I'd want to bury this man whose blood would not circulate,

whose face was paralyzed, who should have died
in shame and solitude, without benefit of eulogy or twenty-one
gun salutes. I want to bury him in Southern California
with the Birchers and the Libertarians. I want to look out

my window and cheer the remaining cedars
that require swampy habitats to survive. To be done
with shame and rage this April afternoon, where embryonic
fiddleheads, fuzzy and curled and pale as wings,

have risen to meet me. After all, they say he was a scrappy man,
wily and sage, who served as Lucifer, scapegoat, scoundrel,
a receptacle for acrimony and rage — one human being
whose life I have no reverence for, which is why I'm singing now.